Each program in the Praxis Network exists within a particular ecosystem of disciplinary expectations, institutional needs, available resources, leadership styles, and specific challenges. Here you can learn how the programs compare across a number of categories, or select a single program to read an in-depth profile.
Each program's mission varies depending on factors that include disciplinary alignment, institutional context, philosophy of teaching, and leadership. All emphasize the importance of preparing students to become outstanding scholars, while simultaneously equipping them to excel in humanities roles outside the professoriate.
To equip the next generation of knowledge workers for faculty positions and alternative academic careers at a moment when new questions can be asked and new systems built; additionally, to serve as the key node and nurturer of a broader "Praxis Network."
To equip graduate and undergraduate students with the technical, creative, and practical skills necessary to apply information, communication, and computing technologies to cultural heritage materials and questions, influence the current state of cultural heritage informatics, and become thought leaders for the future of the field.
To encourage scholarly collaboration among arts and humanities students and faculty; to strengthen engagement with digital humanities on the institutional level; to foster collaboration with other institutions; and to provide experiences and opportunities that will equip students for a variety of career options.
To develop and highlight a broad range of digital projects and resources at the CUNY Graduate Center, and to foster institutional change at the Graduate Center by heightening the public presence of its digital initiatives.
To provide an arena in which PhD students in the humanities and interpretive social sciences can learn about new digital scholarship, engage with its challenges, and see its promise for their own research and professional lives within or outside the university.
To create Digital Humanities pathways from undergraduate and graduate study to work-based internships, offering students the opportunity to apply their skills in real-world contexts while also increasing digital capabilities across the humanities and social sciences.
What do these programs look like from day to day? Explore Praxis Network teaching styles, curricula, selection criteria, and more.
The two key programs are graduate fellowships, year-long funded opportunities to develop digital projects and skills; and fieldschool, a five-week theme-based immersive program for instruction and collaborative project development.
This six-course program includes a variety of modular options, including seminars, high-level courses with individual mentoring, collaborative digital projects, and individual capstone projects. Students are encouraged to present their work at conferences and online, to seek grant support for their work, and to connect their research with a variety of career paths.
Depending on background and goals, students work towards an MA or MSc degree during three terms of study. The first two terms consist of taught modules, while the third focuses on coursework, exams, and work placement. The remainder of the year is spent on an independent research project or dissertation.
The one-year renewable program includes courses, workshops, and public events centered around two or three overarching topics; scholars meet informally every two weeks as they work toward the development of an e-portfolio, which they present to one another at the end of the year.
Students take a few core courses, and then craft their own cross-disciplinary path based on their interests. Many students also participate in internships at companies based at nGen, an area business incubator that partners with IASC.
The basic model is in place and working well. The team is now focused on building out existing pathways, identifying new businesses in need of student interns, and helping develop the approach across all arts, humanities and social science disciplines.
These programs are about much more than methods and skills: they also contribute new knowledge to the field and equip emerging scholars and humanities practitioners to develop their own agendas for productive research. A few of the most exciting projects and research outcomes are highlighted below.
The first and second cohort prototyped and expanded Prism, a digital humanities tool for collective reading, or "crowdsourcing interpretation." The third cohort developed Ivanhoe, a platform for critical, reflective interpretation. The current, fourth, cohort is expanding and revising Ivanhoe.
Fellows create innovative and vibrant digital projects that contribute new knowledge to their field of study, while also advancing the broader developments in cultural heritage informatics. Details about individual projects can be found on the CHI Initiative blog.
Participating students have completed capstone projects on a wide range of topics and presented them to the community, both within the institution and at broader conference settings. Future cohorts will have many options for the kinds of projects and research they undertake.
The capstone project for participating scholars is an e-portfolio that integrates approaches the students have learned about online self-presentation and more specific thematic topics, such as peer-to-peer teaching. Scholars also develop collaborative projects.
Alongside their studies, many students participate in public projects, such as the Niagara 1812 historical project, which allows them to apply the skills they learn to projects with immediate public relevance.
The core of the program is a year-long Honours degree blending the student’s home discipline with digital humanities methods. UCDH is also developing non-degree programs for undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students wishing to incorporate digital approaches into their work.
In every case, these programs are exceptional because of creative, thoughtful, and dedicated faculty, students, and staff. From the directors that guide them to the students that are their lifeblood, each program takes on distinct characteristics depending on the people involved.
Directed by Ethan Watrall, the CHI Graduate Fellowship Program comprises a small cohort of graduate students from disciplines related to cultural heritage, while the CHI Fieldschool is open to graduate and undergraduate students, as well as existing professionals.
A highly selective undergraduate program directed by William Pannapacker, the Mellon Scholars Program also involves faculty representatives from all departments in the Arts and Humanities division of the college.
This master’s-level program is highly interdisciplinary; students enter with a range of backgrounds and participate in modules across the faculties. The program is directed by Simon Mahony, with input from all of the UCLDH team.
Students from a wide range of fields in the humanities and social sciences participate in various aspects of the program, from jointly-taught courses, to internships, to honors degrees and thesis work. The program is directed by James Smithies.
Funding and support are crucial considerations for any emerging program. Praxis Network programs are able to do what they do thanks to a variety of different funding models—some rely on grants, others function on a fixed budget line within a department, and still others bring together pockets of funding from various sources.
Supported by internal funding from the MSU Graduate School, the College of Social Science, the Department of Anthropology, the Department of History, the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures, and University Outreach and Engagement.
While initial funding for the program has been provided by the university, the Centre for Digital Humanities—including the MA/MSc program—is now self-sustaining through student fees and research grants.
As an academic program within Brock’s system, IASC has a hard budget line and is not supported by grants. At the same time, some of the program’s research activities are funded through a separate research allocation.
Some of these programs are pilots with future plans that hinge on flexibility and short-term impact. Others have been structured for longevity within their institutions since day one. Discover below how long-term goals affect program structures (and vice versa).
The curriculum will be adjusted continually, based on participant interest and the potential of various projects to make meaningful interventions in contemporary digital humanities discourse—which is construed as including both DH theory and praxis.
The program will be refined continually based on each year’s successes and challenges, as well as current best practices and development in the field, in order to create a sustainable and rigorous program in which fellows complete robust projects in their areas of interest.
Signs of success would include: deeper faculty engagement with collaborative research and digital approaches; increasingly strong pool of applicants; a growing variety of high-quality projects and presentations; and successful placement of graduates in appropriate career paths.
With a mission that is largely student-driven, this experimental program will change according to student needs and feedback. While students do not receive funding, several teaching assistantships may be available to participating students in future years.
The program may undergo a number of structural changes in the coming years, including launching a new stream specifically for game studies, in order to serve student needs as the program continues to evolve.
Keys for success include an investment of significant staff time for high-quality mentorship, adequate space for collaborative work, and flexibility to accommodate the various backgrounds and skill levels of the fellows.
Consider how to evaluate process-oriented work, and how the credits that students earn will counted by their departments. Also, keep in mind that certain disciplinary methods and paradigms may be unfamiliar for students.
Faculty investment is among the most important factors for success, and helps ensure a successful student experience as well as institutional support. Other important variables are demonstrated success of projects and effective career development.